The God-fearers were Gentile proselytes. While the gospel was preached to Jews in Antioch, the majority of new converts came from the God fearers. These Gentiles had adopted the Jewish faith with their code of morality and attended synagogue services, but who were not full converts and did not want to submit to circumcision. These were probably the ones mentioned in the gospels, because they restricted themselves to certain leading points of the ceremonial law, they were regarded as outside the fellowship of Jewish communities.

Paul to the Jews in Antioch:

Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

Josephus mentions that the Jews in Antioch "were constantly attracting to their religious ceremonies multitudes of Greek, and these they had in some measure incorporated with themselves." He also states that "But no one need wonder that there was so much wealth in our temple, for all the Jews throughout the habitable world, and fearers of God, even those from Asia and Europe, had been contributing to it for a very long time."

Any city in the Empire had their share of Gentile converts to Judaism. The Bible had already been translated into Greek and many believed in the Jewish theology with the One true God of Moses and Abraham. By the time Paul and the other Christians came, they found a great opportunity with a community already ripe for harvest everywhere they went. Also around this time, the Jerusalem Council and the teachings of Paul had affirmed grace and Christian freedom and the extreme requirements of the law had been waived. Especially attractive to the God-fearers was the idea that they could become members of the Christian community and gain salvation merely by confessing their sins and submitting to baptism and they did not have to be circumcised. At once, hundreds of Gentiles had joined Antioch's church and before long, millions of God-fearers around the world.
[345, BD, Acts 13]

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